For All Mankind #16

Rob and Super Friend Laurel Phillips review "The People Who Stole the Sky" by E. Nelson Bridwell, Ramona Fradon, and Bob Smith, from SUPER FRIENDS #16! Plus Listener Feedback!

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Opening and closing themes by Hanna Barbera.

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24 responses to “For All Mankind #16

  1. It’s so lovely to hear Laurel on the show, with a woman and a man doing the podcast it was a case of ‘Powers activate’ over he airwaves

    Anyway, I’ve yet to finish the show, but before I forget my thought – they come and go so quickly – I wonder if Laurel is thinking of Dynomutt when it comes to whether or not Wonder Dog was on Laff-a-Lympics? All these HB a mutts were so alike!

      1. I think you’re both right. I looked up a pic of Dynomutt and the cape and name Dog-Wonder must be what made Wonder Dog seem familiar.

    1. This just made me think about why the SuperFriends were not involved in Laff-a-Lympics. I bet it had nothing to do with the licensing rights. Once you’ve got the overpowered Underoos crew in the competition, all your dramatic tension vaporizes instantly. Snidely Whiplash wouldn’t even come out of the locker room.

      1. Snidely Whiplash was from Dudley Do-Right. Do you mean Dick Dastardly or his counterpart they made up, Dread Baron, who was their Dick Dastardly substitute since Hanna-Barbera didn’t fully own Dastardly and Muttley?

  2. Another great episode.
    This has both a fantastic cover and a fantastic title! “The People Who Stole the Sky” it sounds like a Twilight Zone episode! The design for the aliens is great too. They look like a race they would live floating around in the sky. I can almost hear them yelling “Hey you! Get off of my cloud!” as the knock people out of the sky. And while I’m on Top 40 Hits, you made me imagine Wonder Woman doing her best Pat Benatar “Hit me with your best shot! Fire away!”
    This is another issue I NEED to have in my collection.

  3. I always thought I had a pretty good memory of the covers of the Super Friends series, even the issues I have never owned, but this one is a new one on me! I really dig the scans of this issue, and the design of the aliens is really quite interesting and unique! Super Friends comic Superman reminds me a bit of the more hot-tempered Man of Steel Cindy and I are covering on JLUCast! Much more quick to anger, it seems.

    Just from what you and Laurel described, this seems like ENB’s take on the formulaic plots from Season 1 of the Super Friends animated series. I can totally see the basic plot being the same, but the Super Friends teaching the aliens that lesson Laurel mentioned…not threatening them with violence! Maybe it was ENB saying “this is how these plots would have really played out on Earth One!”

    Fun show!


  4. Thanks for a great show, Rob and Laurel!

    I like the change-up in story structure this issue. Instead of a Gardner Fox pair-off, Act II is edge-of-your-seat subterfuge that sets up the thrilling pitched battle in Act III. It worked for Lucas, Tolkien, and Fleming, so why not Bridwell?

    I also enjoyed Supes’ outrage. It’s somehow more powerful because he could easily be just like these other aliens, looking down on the puny ground-dwellers. But he was raised to care for humans and consider them equals — to respect people, and not power. I don’t mind when Superman gets angry, because it’s like when Jimmy Stewart got angry in old movies. It’s a giant clue you’ve done something terribly wrong, and retribution is probably imminent.

    Regarding the cross-stitch my brother and I did for Mom, it was NOT Storm the sea horse. 🙁 I think it was a picture of a house captioned by a Bible verse about love or family. It’s probably still on the wall back home, so I’ll check next time I’m there. Mom might have appreciated Storm, too, though. Sea horses are pretty, and she put up with a lot of comic book discussion.

    Of course, if I were to venture into the visual arts nowadays, I’d probably do a cross-stitch interpretation of Ultra, the Multi-Alien.

    1. On Superman’s ‘convenient’ powers, like super-ventriloquism, super-hypnotism, super-basketweaving or whatnot, I think it was more of a Silver Age thing. Although there were exceptions, like in this issue of Super Friends, by the 1970s and early 1980s it was pretty rare.
      I can really relate to what Laurel said about saying “Wonder Twin powers activate” when horsing around with other kids. Back when I was a kid, I recall that we’d often quote lines from favorite superhero shows while playing unrelated games, like dodgeball or whatever. A big favorite was “Shazam,” with the accompanying thunderbolt sound effect, and saying “Holy (insert topically appropriate word here), Batman!” was also popular. Once, one kid (a boy), even used the Isis line, “O zephyr winds which blow on high / Lift me now so I can fly” when we were playing tag. Thinking about it now, he should have gotten points for being able to correctly quote such a long line. Back then, our reaction was more like, “O.k., that was weird.”

      By the way, I really need to use emojis or something to tone down my comments. I wasn’t really all that upset about Sean’s offhand remark concerning Lindsey Wagner, it was more tongue in cheek – so apologies if anyone took that too seriously.

      1. Edo, allow me to respond to your accidental response. Concur on Kal-El’s powers. The Silver Age was when the tertiary powers were invented at a…what, bimonthly rate? Some survived to the Bronze Age, when they were used inconsistently. Superman would only remember he had super-ventriloquism or infrared vision when the writer remembered and it didn’t ruin the plot. When he did use those powers, it was jarring for all of us. Laurel is not alone!

        Also, there was nothing wrong with the tone of your Lindsey Wagner response. It’s all about expectations. You and I and most of the other commenters agree with the network all-stars so much, they call our occasional pushback “being taken to task.” If DAG texted them a manifesto first thing in the morning outlining how they’d betrayed every principle they ever held dear (and also, when will that next Who’s Who finally be ready?) their response would read, “And a hearty good morning to you too, David.”

        1. And now an actual response to your first comment: I very much admire how you were able to work in Ultra, the Multi-Alien. Nice.

          1. Edo–I didn’t take your comment as too harsh, just for own peace of mind I wanted to point out that Sean was of course not mocking anything or anyone in particular.

        2. I must speak up for Silver and Bronze Age Superman – after a few years of Mort Weisinger in charge his powers were pretty much fixed until the Crisis came along. Flight, strength, invulnerability to everything except kryptonite and magic, super hearing, super speed (allowing time travel), super breath, freeze breath, super smell, telescopic vision, infra-red vision, microscopic vision, x-ray vision, heat vision (previously an aspect of x-ray vision), super-ventriloquism, super intelligence, super-hypnosis, super memory… Is that really so much? The facial shape-changing had only appeared a few times in the Golden Age, and it’s not like he had telepathy!

          Sure, some were used more than others, but none were forgotten about. Nelson knew…

          1. No argument, Mart, but how many times was he in situations where he could’ve solved the problem with one of those powers and didn’t? I don’t have perfect knowledge of Superman stories, and I don’t have super-memory, so I could easily be wrong. But it’s my impression that infra-red vision, freeze breath, and the last four on your list were the ones that writers would most often conveniently forget about — and also super-speed, which is so awesome a power that Flash was a Justice Leaguer with only that and vibrating through things.

            I know it’s hard for a writer to come up with a tactical dilemma that Superman can’t easily solve. That’s why his best challenges are the complex, human ones raw power won’t solve, or simply ones where he has to be in too many places at once. It’s also why he’s such a good hero for the most powerful nation on Earth. Knowing what’s wise and doing what’s right are the most important and most elusive superpowers.

  5. Man, I could look at that cover all day. Even without my two favorites, Aquaman and Robin, that is one great illustration by Ramona and Bob Smith!

    Great podcast, Rob and Laurel! This is one of my favorite early SF issues, and you did a great job talking about how great it was.

    I remember this issue distinctly because it was the first time I remember ever seeing Aquaman controlling “sea birds.” Uh….mammals, fish, cephalopods, AND birds? So basically he can communicate with animals! Just admit it, DC!

    Two quick things: first, about Super Friends now being monthly. Weren’t ALL DC books made monthly after the Implosion? I think I read somewhere that it was a way to keep everything on track, production-wise. What with the lesser selling books all gone, those that got to stay were made monthly. If I remember correctly….

    And secondly, in the Super Friends collection Saturday Morning Comics, that black and white panel on page 15 is….in black and white!?! (with a touch of blue) So maybe ENB or editor Larry Hama wanted to show another “point of view” change?

    1. You’re spot on Russell, all the DC books that survived the explosion were already monthly, or promoted up to it.

  6. So yeah, an all-round great episode. My take on that panel of Aquaman busting into the undersea base is that it’s not uncoloured, it’s in very subtle blue tones, to indicate that he’s under the sea. All the other panels are interiors, therefor coloured more vibrantly.

    That editor’s note explaining that Superman’s super-ventriloquism is far better than your average guy with a dummy is hilarious – talk about dotting the Is and crossing the Ts.

    1. And I wish I’d read Russell’s comment above before writing mine, but we do agree on the ‘black and white’ panel!

  7. I have to disagree with some of the things you said about Jayna using her powers to look like one of the aliens. Presumably, these aliens are like humans, who are an animal species, in that they evolved from other animal species on their own planet. In addition, Jayna’s already proven that she can take the form of alien animals, because she takes the form of animals from the alien (to her) planet of earth. So, why shouldn’t she be able to take the form of these aliens or of a human.

    The question is whether or not she can take the form of a particular preexisting animal (e.g., impersonating Krypto, Ace the Bat-Hound, or the president), or if she always takes the form of the same “Jayna version” of an animal (i.e., if she turns into a cat, then it’s always the same cat that’s unique to Jayna). My impression is that the latter case is true. Regardless, I’ve probably spent too much time speculating on the nature of Jayna’s power, than is warranted by a comic book.

    Thank you both for another incredible episode.

    Oh, and I love that cover.

    1. This is basically what I was coming here to say. If it’s just the form of an animal but not an particular individual than doesn’t seem like there’s a problem.

  8. Welcome to the podcast Laurel, it was great to hear you and Rob talk about this cool issue!

    On page 9 of the story when Superman is talking about the radioactive wastes that will fall down from the sky, I’m glad Ramona didn’t feel the need to include a dead dog like she did in issue #9 when she illustrated the effects of Grax’s White Kryptonite bomb!

    Regarding the removal of all of the shows and movies from the DC Universe app, some of those HAVE gone over to HBO Max, but sadly, Super Friends is not there as of this writing (March 16, 2020).
    Hopefully they will add the show soon. Although I own all of the shows on DVD, sometimes it’s just so much easier to access them through streaming – especially when visiting the grandkids!

  9. Thank you to Rob and Laurel for bringing us this month’s podcast, which I listened to while spring cleaning the apartment, part of which is dusting and cleaning all my Super Friends memorabilia!

    Issue #16 was a highlight for me, as it featured so much of the Wonder Twins, who never got featured anywhere else in the DCU at that time. I was always hoping for an appearance in Brave & The Bold or DC Comics Presents.

    I was not surprised of Jayna’s shift into one of the aliens or the centaur, as she had done that on the cartoon a few times, once into an alien insect and other times as a winged horse, and a griffin. However, I would’ve thought that she’d turn into a centaur with a more fearsome or muscular appearance. A centaur with the top half of a teen girl is not the most fearsome looking opposition.

    Superman’s anger at Pywal reminded me of issue #3, when the World Beater was introduced, and Superman (while scowling) calls him a Frankenstein monster, created from the dead villains who were murdered.

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